Have a cup of tea and stay a whale~
It’s Not Out Of Pity. [Merthur smut oneshot.]

(FF.n link)

(AO3 link)

Fencing achievement trophies, tennis match trophies, photos with his father and half-sister, Morgana. Ribbons from school fairs, academic achievement awards, photos of him horseback riding. Things he’s done, seen, been goaded into and expected to do. None of it is really Arthur Pendragon. Arthur’s a simple guy, at heart. Sure, his house is bigger than most, and his father is an otherworldly successful businessman, but none that that really means anything to him.

He sighs.

It’s summer, between graduation and university. A lot rides on these few precious months. Is there any way to get out of it, any of it at all? Sometimes he wonders. But then, he shouldn’t wonder, should he? He’ll push through it with gold stars radiating from his very person, like always. Same old, same old. He should be more concerned about other things. He’s never even had a girlfriend; his father wouldn’t allow it. “No time for such matter, Arthur. There will be time when you’re older.”

So, instead, he has Guinevere. Gwen’s great; one of his closest friends. He’s kissed her before, in primary school. It was kid stuff. They never dated later. They don’t even feel that way for each other, now. But Arthur can’t say he doesn’t wish they were anyhow, just to make him feel less alone.

Arthur’s mobile phone rings. It plays the melody ‘Goodnight, Travel Well’ by The Killers; his ringtone for his neighbor and best mate, Merlin.

He sits back in his bed and picks up the device, “Merlin?”

“I had another dream about her,” the other replies. He’s a year younger than Arthur; still in school, won’t graduate until this coming spring. But they plan to go to the same university together. They’ve been by each other’s sides for years; why discontinue that? “Can I come over?”

“Sure. My dad’s out late at some dinner party or another, and Morgana’s at Gwen’s.” Naturally, the girls bonded. Arthur brought Gwen home from school once, and the two have been pals ever since. It’s kind of convenient, actually. “See you in a few.”

Merlin has a key. Arthur snuck him a copy ages ago. He half lives here, anyhow, despite his house being just two or three down the street. It’s a decent neighborhood, where the well-off are mixed with the middle-class folk, and oddly enough, Merlin has never felt poor compared to Arthur.

When Merlin enters Arthur’s bedroom, it’s no surprise that there are tears on his face. He doesn’t hesitate to cross the room and sit down at the foot of Arthur’s bed, sighing heavily and wiping at his eyes. “She’s been dead several months now, and I thought I’d be okay after going to her funeral – it was closure, you know, a-and she’s in a better place, I just know it, and she wouldn’t want me to be held back with grief, she’d want me to carry on and be happy, focus on my schoolwork and friends – but I can’t. Not when I still get dreams about her.”

“I know, mate, I know,” Arthur comforts with a hand rubbing in circles, idly patting Merlin’s back. The dark-haired boy heaves a sob and tries to control himself.

“I need you to take my mind off it. Anything, I don’t care. Just help me forget the dream, and about her for a while.”

His mother died of breast cancer. They couldn’t catch it in time, and the next thing they knew, it was too late. Treatment for it, the desperate kind that is left at the stage of her cancer, had failed. She was gone before anyone knew it.

Merlin doesn’t have anyone else; his great-uncle, Gaius, moved into the house with him, and will stay with him until he’s able to live on his own and attend university. But Merlin’s father is gone, he doesn’t know his father’s family, and his mother was an only child, her parents already passed away. He has no one but his uncle, and sometimes Arthur forgets how fortunate he is. He feels foolish, now, for only thinking of himself moments ago.

“Um,” Arthur stumbles over himself, not sure what to do. Put on a movie? Play a video game?

But Merlin looks like he wants to be held. He’s caving in on himself, shoulders hunched forward and inward, his hands around his arms, his heels drawn up to his body, knees hiding his face.

“Come here,” Arthur instructs, and Merlin sends him a questioningly look, but doesn’t have it in him to disobey. Normally he does everything he can to disobey Arthur, because Arthur is bossy and cocky sometimes, and Merlin is the only one who can put up with him because he constantly defies him, cracks jokes, and humbles the blond after he’s been particularly snobbish.

Merlin crawls over to the top of the bed and into Arthur’s arms. They are so close in bond; Arthur doesn’t know, sometimes, how he would fare without Merlin around. They’ve been friends for so long, he wonders how he ever got along without Merlin in tow. It’s a funny feeling, being so attached to someone.

“She was a fantastic mother,” Arthur murmurs into Merlin’s hair, his arms around Merlin’s shoulders as Merlin sits beside Arthur, leaning into him. Arthur idly strokes Merlin’s hair, rubs his thumb over Merlin’s arm. “She loved me like I was her own, and she spoiled me like I was her nephew. Hunith was brilliant, she really was. I miss her, too.” But not as much. He can never miss her as much as Merlin will. And he was bale to think about himself for a spell, not about her, which says a lot. He feels a drop of guilt, and swallows it down.

Merlin clings to the front of Arthur’s shirt. He tucks his head under Arthur’s and turns his nose into Arthur’s chest. He mumbles thinly, “Stop. I’m going to cry again. It’s not helping. I know you’re trying, but honestly, I just want to forget right now.”

“Oh. Sorry, Merlin,” Arthur murmurs shamefacedly. “Want to talk about… dragons?”

Merlin huffs a laugh and lifts his head, Arthur’s hand dropping from the mop of dark hair. “Yeah, sure.”

“Dragons are cool. Breathe fire, fly, all that. Sometimes I wish I was a dragon. Or could meet one or ride one. Don’t you?”

Merlin gives a small smile. “That would be brilliant.”

Arthur thinks for a moment. “I could put on Dragonheart. –Wait, no. Shit.”

Merlin smiles a little bigger at Arthur’s mistake. “…Draco dies, yeah. But he becomes a constellation, so it’s fine. I won’t blubber over it. I only did when I was six.”

“Right. Yeah. I’ll just… put that on, then,” the blond replies awkwardly as he shifts around Merlin to move over to his movie collection. He pops in the old VHS he kept of the film and fast-forwards to the film. It starts to play, a little fuzzy here and there where he’s paused instead of stopped it in the past, and He nestles down into his bed, Merlin casually at his side.

They get about halfway through the movie before Merlin inhales and shakes his head. “I’m sorry. It’s not working. She used to watch with this me, and now I feel like crying again. It’s taking all I have not to. Please, Arthur, turn it off. Please.”

Arthur immediately presses the ‘off’ button on the remote on his bedside. The telly goes black, and the VHS player blinks “Goodbye!” across the tiny screen.

Merlin has his face in his hands. Being with Arthur helps him not feel as lonely, but there is only so much Arthur being beside him can help with. The rest hurts too much.

“Arthur,” Merlin whispers, glancing beside him. He looks so small, which is ridiculous, because Merlin is scrawnier then Arthur, sure, but they are the same height. He shouldn’t look so teeny. “Arthur.” And his eyes well with tears again.

“Bugger,” Arthur curses under his breath, and he turns and pulls Merlin toward him again. “You know this is queer, right?” And he isn’t sure, really, if he means homosexual or strange, because, in a way, both apply.

Merlin takes it as the former. “No, but kissing me would be.”

That actually gives Arthur an idea.

Maybe kissing will help Merlin’s mind go blank. It could. He could try. He isn’t opposed to it; Merlin is his best friend. He doesn’t feel the way for any other friend or person the way he does for Merlin. He would do anything for him, and Merlin has done everything he was able for Arthur in the past, and will continue to do whatever he can in the future. Arthur knows that. And maybe it’s about time he fully returned the favor.

“Hey,” the blond utters as he lifts Merlin by the chin and looks at him. “Would it bother you if I did?”

Merlin blinks. “Did what?”

Arthur lowers his head and presses a light kiss to Merlin’s nose, leaving his eyes open to check Merlin’s reaction. His whole face is warm and pink from crying, his cheeks wet. Arthur never knew his own mother. He can’t imagine what it must feel like to have known, loved, and lost a mother. It must hurt more than anything else emotional. “That. Would you hate it?”

Merlin blinks again, rapidly, eyes wide. He shakes his head swiftly, causing Arthur’s thumb to rub his chin. “No. That’s… fine.”

“Oh, good,” Arthur mutters. And that’s all he says for a while.

He takes his time, turning Merlin onto his back and lying him down, hovering over him and watching him close his eyes, eyelashes stuck together here and there, his nose sniffling lightly. He looks so oddly vulnerable, which is so bizarre, because Merlin is always so clumsy and sarcastic and joking, always smiling, even if dopily, and he’s the voice of reason and very determined, and he gets better grades than Arthur does, especially in memorization courses, like foreign language. To see him small and broken like this… it’s beyond Arthur.

He kisses Merlin’s eyes first, then his cheeks. He kisses those sharp cheekbones and sleek jaw line, and follows a stray tear down to his ears, and then kisses those, too. He kisses a crown across Merlin’s forehead, each one petal-soft and careful. He kisses where Merlin’s dimples are when he smiles. He kisses the corners of his eyes, tastes salt on his lips. He kisses Merlin’s nose again, from the space between his eyes to the tip, and kisses Merlin’s chin.

Then, Merlin opens his eyes, and they look at one another, and slowly, their eyes close in tandem, and Arthur kisses Merlin full on the mouth.

Merlin reaches up to tangle his fingers in Arthur’s fair hair, and he parts his lips and desperately, pleadingly slips his tongue into Arthur’s mouth. Arthur welcomes him, lets Merlin take what he wants from the kiss, and when they part for a puff of air, their eyes peek open, and something clicks into place.

“Please don’t tell me this is a one-time, pity-snog thing. I’ve wanted that for longer than you know,” Merlin barely gets out, but Arthur catches every word thanks only to the proximity of their faces.

“No. No, I don’t think it’s a one-time pity-snog thing,” Arthur says in bewilderment. It feels like it’s been meaning to happen for a long time now, once he stops to think about it. Kissing Merlin feels… natural. Like he was supposed to, put it off for a while, but is finally choosing to acknowledge it.

“And if I told you I wanted sex right now, would you hold it against me? Or deem it a pity-shag?” Merlin asks, his words catching in his throat, but he’s understood.

The blond shakes his head vigorously. “No. No way. I wouldn’t do that to you. I’d only – that is, if you wanted to, I would. Uh. Have sex with you. And I wouldn’t – no. Not out of pity.”

“Oh, that’s a relief,” Merlin says with a small smile. He grips Arthur’s face and crushes his mouth to the rich boy’s, moving it with sudden fervor that makes blossoms of white explode behind his eyelids, chemicals rushing in his brain like an injection.

Arthur wraps his arms under Merlin and rolls them over again in his large bed, Merlin’s smaller body resting comfortably atop his own. He snakes an arm around the small of Merlin’s back, the other gently gripping the nape of his neck, messaging idly, as they kiss heatedly. Arthur can feel Merlin growing hard beneath his pajama bottoms, and Arthur can’t deny he isn’t getting a little turned on as well, having Merlin on him like this, his weight something he wonders he hasn’t been missing all along, and his lips and tongue feeling just… just far more than what Arthur thought.

He takes Merlin by the hips and slides him up to give him better access to Arthur’s mouth so their noses don’t bump as much, but this causes their members to rub through fabric, and they groan in unison, caught off-guard.

It’s a vulnerable point, Merlin knows, as Arthur cranes his neck back and Merlin latches his mouth onto the blond’s prominent Adam’s apple. It can feel dually like being cut off from air and heady, and as Merlin moves downward, hands feeling over Arthur’s shirt, his mouth lingering wherever skin is showing around Arthur’s collar, Arthur releases breathy sounds Merlin never thought he would hear.

“Your shirt,” Merlin says, and that’s all that needs saying. He sits back between Arthur’s knees as Arthur leans up, strips of his shirt, and tosses it to the floor. He immediately moves to help Merlin out of his own garment, and Merlin lets him.

It joins Arthur’s on the carpet below, and then it’s chest-to-chest skin touching where Arthur sits and Merlin kneels between his legs. The spry hairs between their pectorals brush, sending shivers down both their spines, as they become a tangle of rubbing palms and lacing mouths again.

Arthur gains confidence as he goes to work on Merlin’s throat, moving down to his clavicle and down, further, to a pert nipple he circles with his thumb before taking into his mouth, tugging lightly with lip-covered teeth.

Merlin moans lowly, his grip on Arthur’s shoulders tightening momentarily, encouragingly. They fall back onto the mattress, Merlin straddling Arthur’s hips and instinctively rocking against him, the pit of his stomach curling against itself hotly as he feels his pajamas grow damp in one place with pre-ejaculate.

“Ngh–! Merlin, – shit – stop before I soil my trousers,” Arthur hisses between his teeth, but it’s nearly too late. He’s so close. The grinding friction is stifling warm and feels so good. His hips rut up into Merlin’s without meaning to, Merlin’s hands splayed out on Arthur’s chest, feeling solid but shaking and the blond grips his sheets tightly with one hand, but claps his other across both of Merlin’s, fingers digging between Merlin’s paler digits.

“You’ll just have to clean them,” Merlin whispers huskily, his voice thick with lust and sounding unusually low, and the timbre goes straight to Arthur’s groin.

“Fuck. Fuck,” Arthur breathes, and with a grunt, he tenses and feels the rush flood from his balls and throbbing up through his prick, white-hot pleasure washing down to his toes and tingling his brain, shooting off signals like rockets.

Merlin moans long and low as he watches Arthur climax, and he leans down to kiss him as he works himself back and forth into Arthur’s hips, feel the dampness and so much arousal he’s dizzy. He whispers, “Arthur,” like a gasp of surprise before clenching his teeth and coming, his mind wiping clean of his sorrow, of everything, thinking only of Arthur, of his own body.

Panting, they shift to lie facing one another on their sides, but it isn’t quite enough. That only took the edge off. Arthur is still hard, and Merlin can easily be worked back up again in minutes, given the high he wants to feel again, the mind-clearing intimacy he’s sharing with his best mate in this precious moment.

“Arthur,” Merlin pants, his cheeks flushed with arousal, no trace of tears on his face any longer. Arthur closes his eyes for a moment; he almost can’t stand how much this changes things, the way he looks at his longtime friend. “Arthur, I want to –”

“I know,” the blond trembles, and he brings his arm around Merlin and rolls him to face the other way. He runs his hand up Merlin’s navel in a ticklish manner, plays with his nipples. Nuzzles the back of his neck, presses small kisses to his shoulder and trapezius, the smooth skin sex-warmed and smooth with just a bit of perspiration starting to collect.

Merlin whimpers as Arthur slowly drags his hand down, his other tucked under the pillow below their heads. He palms the erection already growing stiff and full again under Merlin’s clothing. He slips his hand inside, thankful for the loose drawstring he can slip out, untie, and stretch out as he delves back in, gripping the base of Merlin’s shaft and running his thumb along the come-slicked member and stroking slowly, building speed only as Merlin’s heart rate and breathing increase significantly, little moans and whimpers falling uncontrollably from Merlin’s pink lips.

In his ear, Arthur murmurs, “You’ve always been there for me. I want to always be here for you. You know that, don’t you?”

“Yes,” Merlin whispers, his eyes slipping shut as he leans back into Arthur’s sturdy frame, feeling Arthur’s breath across his collarbones. He wriggles as closely as possible, giving into the firm jerks of Arthur’s larger hand, twisting on the upward stroke, so different than how Merlin handles himself; Arthur puts more control into it, more strength, slowing down to tease it a bit before rubbing almost painfully fast, it feels so wonderful. Merlin bites down on his lip and shallowly thrusts forward into Arthur’s fist, unable to help himself. He’s going to come again, and he just knows it’s going to happen soon yet out of nowhere, and it will be triggered by something, but he isn’t sure what. He waits for it, anticipation stealing his breath away.

Arthur rubs himself through his trousers by using Merlin’s arse as it ruts back against him with every little pelvic movement Merlin makes into Arthur’s hand. He sucks a red mark onto the junction of neck and shoulder as he slides up, even through clothing, so perfectly between Merlin’s little arse cheeks. He has to will himself not to bite down, not to want to bite down on Merlin’s tender flesh.

Merlin cries out suddenly, his second orgasm overtaking him as he spurts in his trousers, come leaking down over Arthur’s already messy fingers. He shudders all over with the aftershocks, and hearing him whimper and sigh stirs deep within Arthur, and he removes his hand from inside Merlin’s underwear to grip his hip and thrust against him until he, too, climaxes again, rearing his head back and cursing under his breath, a forming bruise left in the wake of his mouth.

Finally spent, the two roll onto their backs, their clothing ruined and needing a good wash, preferably before anyone comes home and sees what they have done. They cool and calm down for a while, simply listening to each other breathe.

Arthur gathers up the laundry and washes it, Merlin wearing borrowed clothes.

“Want to sleep over?” Arthur asks as he returns from the running washer.

Merlin smiles. “Yeah, sounds great. Can we finish Dragonheart, now?”

“Sure we can,” Arthur agrees as he joins Merlin in his bed and uses the remote to turn everything back on before pressing ‘play.’ “But unlike what we normally do, you’re sleeping in my bed with me. No one will care. We used to do it when we were kids, anyhow.”

“Yeah,” Merlin muses quietly, feeling so much better. He’s physically satisfied, his brain is thrumming with all the right chemicals, and he isn’t thinking of his mother at all. He smiles again at the blond when he isn’t looking, and decides it’s safe to curl up into Arthur’s side.

It is. Arthur brings his arm around Merlin’s waist and holds him there for the remainder of the film. And he keeps it around him even as they drift off to sleep later, after a casual and thoughtful discussion about the stars, solar system, and the universe. 

  1. nightmare-kisser posted this